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AHL Foundation Inc.
AHL Foundation Inc.
AHL Foundation Inc.
AHL Foundation was founded by a first-generation immigrant, woman, and philanthropist Sook Nyu Lee Kim; and for over two decades, we have extended public opportunities to our team of underrepresented artists, art professionals, and staff to reflect the diverse American population we collectively live in. Following AHL Foundation’s move to Harlem after over a decade of operating in Chelsea, AHL continues to seek more opportunities to foster creative collaborations and conversations between the surrounding Harlem arts community and our growing network of Asian-American artists. AHL Foundation proudly rests on Frederick Douglass Blvd. and honors the advocacy of Frederick Douglass for Chinese and Asian immigration in the early 1900s. Participating in the histories and legacies that surround us, we have chosen to work closely with our surrounding Black, LatinX, Indigenous, and Pan-Asian organizations. AHL cultivates a cross-cultural and generational Korean contemporary artist think tank, community, and platform, within the United States. Since its founding, we propel the careers of emerging, and minority artists through resources, exhibition opportunities, and a platform. Central to our mission, our seasonal programs reflect the mission to celebrate Asian artistry, heritage, and its influence on American Contemporary arts. Our awards and fellowship programs merge newfound synergies between practicing artists and their peers to generate new communities and conversations that lead the next generation of artists and audiences all across America. Through the power of visual arts, we funnel stories and experiences from a diverse range of makers reflective of the heritages and cultures that populate the country.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
Statistically as of 2019, over 85% of artists showcased in fine arts institutions were white, and 87% of presented artists were male. Constituting a meager 9% of Asian Artists works were collected by major fine arts collections. The largest problem with Asian Americans within the fine arts industry (which includes the roles of not only artists, but also curators, art professionals, art handlers, art historians, and museum visitors) is the lack of representation and opportunities presented to Asian artists. Pinpointing the necessity of a platform, think tank, and resource center for Asian and minority artists, for over two decades we have provided fellowships, multilingual resources, grants, archives, exhibition opportunities, and multilingual art history lectures to support our Asian-American artists practicing not just within the Tri-State area but also nationally. The number of emerging artists seeking studio, educational, and exhibition support from AHL Foundation Inc. has grown threefold post-pandemic. To upkeep the needs of our presented artists, we continue to seek national and independent grants to support our public programming to grow our exhibition roster and educational department. Our influx of Open-Call applicants to showcase work within our gallery prompted continuous partnerships with institutions like the Bank of Hope to host exhibitions within their lobby spaces to carry out our art in the workplace series. Ideally, AHL Foundation Inc. seeks for ways to partner with other AAPI-supporting institutions to create a wider array of audiences to support our artists. As of 2021, statistically over 66% of the art professors teaching in higher education institutions are predominantly white. We support our artists by providing professional development opportunities for practicing artists seeking ways to sustain their studio practices through teaching. With a larger long-term goal of presenting and witnessing diverse faculty to higher educational institutions to teach the next generation of artists, AHL Foundation Inc. continues to build out our educational programs, artist studio visit, and artist talk opportunities to prepare emerging artists seeking experience in teaching to aid in applying to faculty positions.
To promote representation within the fine arts for all AAPI emerging artists, AHL Foundation Inc. plans to launch our Exhibition Programming for the upcoming year. We envision 6 programs spanning 7 exhibitions to be hosted in our gallery in Upper Harlem and partner with Asian-American vendors to participate in our upcoming Exhibition season. All our exhibitions, receptions, artist talks, and events are free and open to the public to witness the array of creative works presented by our AAPI arts community. The works of over 20 emerging and minority artists will be organized by guest curators, critics, and art professionals who have historically lacked opportunities and representation from the Contemporary Arts scene. Chronologically, our upcoming programs will include two Art in the Workplace Exhibitions, highlighting the works of East-Asian artists at the Bank of Hope, AHL-T&W Foundation Visual Arts Award Exhibition, an annual prize that Asian-American artists can apply for to show in a group exhibition, AHL-AAW Cristal Kim Solo Exhibition, a solo exhibition opportunity showcases the works of one established solo Korean artist based in the United States, AHL-Manna’s Space Uptown Exhibition, bridging the works of emerging Asian artists and Harlem-based artists, a Curatorial Fellowship Exhibition, showcasing the studies of historic and theoretical arts research presented by Asian-American curators to represent curatorial diversity, and lastly our annual Korean Adopted Artist Exhibition, featuring works by Korean adoptee artists and their perspectives on Korean identity to the public. To continue the support and raise awareness of underrepresented artists and curators participating in the American Contemporary Art scene, we will exhibit works showcasing solo commissioned exhibitions held at community-partnered businesses where all are welcome to apply. Our archival project, AKAA (The Archive of Korean Artists in America) was established in 2013 and continues to preserve the works of Korean American Artists from the 1960s to the present. Simultaneously, our works have informed not only adopted artists born in Korea or Korean Americans but to those artistically contending with their East Asian identity.